Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The One Thing You Should Never Pray For

As a pastor people often ask me how they should pray or what they should pray for. We talk about it and I toss some ideas out to them and they go on their way.

But there is one thing that I tell people to never pray for.


Why would I tell someone not to pray for patience? I mean patience seems like a good thing right?  I mean it's a fruit of the spirit after all. That's true. But Patience is the avocado of the fruit of the spirit. (yes it is a fruit) You look at it and think, this might be good but I'm not sure if I really want to try it to find out.

The problem with praying for patience is that it's the one prayer that God never says no to. Seriously, I've never seen God say no to a prayer for more patience. But God doesn't just give out patience like King Sized Snickers on Halloween. God teaches you patience. That's right, patience is a LEARNING thing.

Let me give you an example.

1. Pray for patience in a car?  You'll get construction. Then you'll have to merge into one lane and if that doesn't test your patience I don't know what will.

2. Pray for patience at work? You'll be assigned a project with the most annoying person in your office. You know the one who laughs like a hyena and smacks her gum while talking about all of the sub plots to Desperate Housewives.

3. Pray for patience while out to lunch? Oh yeah, you'll be right behind the slow person.

4. Pray for patience at school?  2 words: "Wuthering Heights" (the worst book ever)

5. Pray for patience before church?  2 hour sermon with special music from the pastor's wife. (OH THE HUMANITY!)

The road to patience is a tough one but once you get there it really comes in handy. It allows you to keep a calm head in the heat of the moment. It helps you avoid rash decisions (like buying tickets to the New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys concert).  It allows you to follow God even when you're not sure where you are going. Patience helps live a balanced life.  You know, I could go for a more balanced life.

So perhaps praying for patience isn't such a bad thing.  Patience is actually a good thing to have in your life!
I'll say this though, if you pray for patience, buckle up, because life is about to get interesting!

Have you ever had to learn patience?



  1. Ha ha. I'm totally buying NKOTBSB tickets for next summer. I will pray that they PATIENTLY wait for me backstage so I can kiss 'em and hug 'em and squeeze 'em. :P :P


  2. And yes, I had to learn a lot of patience.

    I prayed for a child of my own and had to wait 8 years and through one marriage, one divorce, and the beginning of a second marriage before she arrived. That's patience.

    I prayed for relief from my ex's abusive violent ways and had to wait through thousands of nasty slurs, angry outbursts, midnight yelling marathons, the destruction of my personal property, losing touch with my family and friends, and the sacrifice of my naivete and innocence before I was able to be free. That's patience.

    I prayed to know more abt my bio-father's life and had to wait 22 years to find out that he had died 5 years earlier... and then wait another 8 years to find out that his mother died 6 months earlier and within 2 days of my daughter's birth... and then wait another month to find out that every possession of my grandmother's was willed to my uncle who the entire family is estranged from including his own children. That's patience.


  3. Those are all tough things to learn patience through.

    I do enjoy following your family through facebook. I pray that your marriage and children bring you more joy than you ever could imagine.